I was elated to hear the news that State Senator Carl Kruger was being charged with corruption and was surrendering to federal authorities.
Although Kruger did not represent Canarsie, we were victims of his power and anti-Canarsie prejudice for many years. I will never forgive him for the way that he came to Canarsie, followed by an entourage of media people, to speak at the public hearing that we requested concerning the closing of Canarsie Pier at night.
When he arrived, he requested the right to speak first, which was granted to him. When he spoke in support of the closing to the large crowd of Canarsie residents and fishermen that opposed it, he was booed and challenged by the crowd, which reminded him that he did not represent Canarsie and had no right to speak for us. When he took this unpopular stand and was shouted down, he insulted us and said that we didn’t know what was good for us. He then stormed out of the auditorium, followed by his entourage.
Despite strong community opposition, the pier and parking lot remain closed at night, although we were as-sured there would be 24-hour access when the Gateway National Recreation Area was created.
Kruger did not support Canarsie when it came to many other local issues, including our botched downzoning, the placement of an excessive number of group homes in Canarsie, and the proposed medical waste facility. In many ways it was Kruger’s anti-Canarsie prejudice that built the schism between Canarsie and the communities west of Paerdegat Basin.
It will be good for Canarsie if Senator Kruger is convicted of all of these charges and spends a long time rotting in jail. This would be a great payback to us for what he did concerning the pier and other Canarsie issues.